As early as the mid-40s women were encouraged to take part in the Communist army.  Mao had openly welcomed women to the Communist headquarters at Yan’an and praised them for demonstrating their capabilities.  After the PRC was established, the state continued to endorse the goal of women’s equality.  In rural areas, the nature of women’s work was also profoundly impacted by the collectivization of agriculture and the mobilization of labor.  More and more women participated in farm labor.